Baked Eggs with Asparagus & Leeks

I wanted to put this on my blog - mostly so I would remember how good it was. But also so if you're looking for a quick, easy breakfast....you can make it.

It is exactly as it sounds. Eggs, asparagus, leeks. This recipe calls for bacon but I left it out because I didn't have any.  I did add some cheese because I had some and wanted to use it up before it went bad. I was tempted to eat this entire thing in one sitting.

Baked Eggs with Asparagus & Leeks


Stitch Fix #5

It's that time again!! I got my Stitch Fix yesterday.  Check it out:

Bay to Baubles Doreen Triangle & Tassel earrings ($28) 

I liked the tassel part of the earrings but hated the fake cheap looking gold/diamond part. 

Verdict: return

Pixley Layna textured Fit & Flare Dress ($78)

I loved the colors and pattern of this dress. it was a good thick material which would make it perfect for winter.  It flared out a touch more than I would have preferred but still thought it was a flattering cut. However...when I tried to winterize the dress....eh. i didn't love it. i would have to go out and buy navy tights (or black?) plus shoes.  $78 is already on the high end for a dress...add in the shoes and no thanks. 

Verdict: return....but sadly. 

Elissa French terry Moto jacket ($74)

This was something I had requested on my pinterest so i was pretty excited to find it in the box. however, once i got it on, it hit in a really weird spot. it looked a little better unzipped but i didn't see myself wearing it all that often. plus the material wasn't as soft as i had envisioned. it reminded me of the fake astroturf. 

Verdict: return

dean ankle skinny zip jeans ($78)

These fit like a glove. i liked the length, the waist didn't leave my butt crack hanging out...all things that one looks for in jeans. while i don't technically need another pair of jeans, these are darker than any that i own so that makes them different, right? 

verdict: keep

Lucca Colorblock crew neck sweater ($58)

I wasn't crazy about this when i first pulled it out but once on, i thought the lines hit in good places. Plus i had got rid of a lot of my sweaters last time i cleaned out my closet.  i think i'll get a lot of wear out of the sweater...plus it looks pretty good with the jeans!

verdict: keep

What do you think? Did i make good choices?  i might take a little break between now and my next box...but we'll see! 



I knew my roommates and I are different. This is one instance:

Me: (enter house)
E: (putting away dishes)
Me: Oh man, I don't know what's happening today. Do I look different? Something must be different.
E: (looks me over) Nope, you look the same.
Me: I was walking down Randolph and a bus pulled over and called me to the window. He asked if he could be my friend and he wanted to take me to the movies.
E: A CTA bus? Were there people on it?
Me: No, it was empty but the bus was in service. It was so weird! (Obviously flattered...I mean, hello? I stopped a bus, I'm so awesome!)
E: You should report him. (Entirely serious.)

Me: Oh I'm having a couple girls over tomorrow night. I have a Stitch Fix coming tomorrow and need some opinions. You are welcome to hang out with us.
E: Oh, thanks but I have dinner plans.
Me: Ooooh! A date? (The other roommate and I have reason to believe she may have a secret boyfriend...)
E: No, just friends. So, better than a date because I know I'll have a good time.
Me: True. Except you have to pay with friends....oh wait, you offer to split the check anyways, guess it works out the same either way.
E: Yeah, I always pay. Unless the guy is really old-fashioned and insists, but I'm uncomfortable with it.
Me: Yeah, not me.
E: I mean, I've had conversations with my guy friends and they don't like it if the girl doesn't offer.
Me: Funny, I've had the same conversation with my friends - up here, all the guys expect the girl to offer. Even my southern guy friends. But in the south, I feel like it's completely normal for a girl not to offer...
E: That's why I don't live in the South. No offense.
Me: None taken (thinking she would probably not be very well received in the South. Very curt mannerisms.)
E: (starts baby talking cats about going to bed....)

You get to pick out all the differences between us in that short scenario! There are at least 3. Dishes are not one of them, har har har.


Well At Least There's That....

My day started out so well. I was on a high from an awesome wedding date. Football with friends. All in all a good weekend. An unproductive one. But good. Fun. Happy. I was having a good day at work, easy day, friendly patients.  I was prepared to eat well this week...minus the having no food thing. So I used Instacart (a grocery delivery service). They were unable to deliver my food Sunday night so I opted for a Monday delivery. My roommate assured me she would be home and accept the delivery. Everything was paid for, food, tip, delivery...done! Well, the delivery fee was waived since it was my first order with them. But food & tip? Done! Just needed someone here from 4-5pm....and she left. She said she got busy and forgot. So she left. Which meant no one was here. No neighbors. No roommate. No nothing. And I can't control the buzzer from my phone. Then I tried to go pick up the delivery...and got stuck in traffic that moved 1 mile in 25 minutes. I had an appointment an hour later with a hefty cancellation fee so I headed in that direction instead. Then I headed home and tried to contact the delivery person. I was willing to go meet them wherever. But I made it all the way home before she told me she was on the opposite side of town and apologized for the confusion and was going to return the order....which meant no groceries. I told her I understood and apologized for the inconvenience of coming to my house when no one was here. And all that jazz. I was beyond frustrated because I had everything for the entire week planned around my food being here when I got home from work. Then again with being able to come home from my appointment and start cooking. True, dinner would be at 9:00. But at least I'd have food prepared. Then...no food. You can understand my frustration right? At this point it would have been faster for me to just go to the grocery store myself after my appointment...which I would have done if I'd known I needed to do so.
Flash forward to 2 arguments because apparently all I do is complain and am not understanding of anyone else's feelings...and I really didn't like anyone. Didn't want to talk to anyone. Didn't want anything to do with anyone.
So here I was, in bed, ready to go to bed without dinner or breakfast or lunch (I don't know what that solves but it sure made me feel better at the moment) - and the doorbell buzzes. My Instacart lady was nice enough to drive all the way back over here and finally deliver my groceries. I appreciate that she went above & beyond. Granted, I probably won't use the service again because it really would have been faster for me to just do it myself....but I appreciate her willingness to be a good, kind human being. Apparently I need to take a hint from her....


Stitch fix #4

I got Stitch Fix #4 in the mail a few days ago!! I think I have my mind made up. I think I loved the whole box. Or at least loved most of the box and it only makes sense to keep the other 2 items since they are so inexpensive.  If you aren't sure what Stitch Fix is, it is a clothing delivery service.  You pay a $20 styling fee and fill out a profile....and a personal stylist picks out 5 items and sends them to you! I like it because they send me things I might not pick up on my own....and I find myself picking up things that are similar to things they send me at the store. So I feel like I'm branching out a little bit. If you decide to keep anything, the $20 styling fee is put towards those items. If you decide to keep all 5 (like I think I am doing this month!!) you get a 20% discount. On to the clothes!!

Papermoon Cecil 3/4 Sleeve Aline Dress ($68)

I super liked this dress but was a little worried about it being a size small. I don't think it fits quite a-line on me but I do really like it and it pairs perfectly with leggings & boots - a look I've been trying to figure out for a few years now and it has always evaded me.... definitely a keep. 

41 Hawthorn Moni Stud Detailed 3/4 Sleeve Blouse ($58)

I had pinned this to my pinterest board so I was happy to see it in my box.  I think it's a cute, simple top with a nice detail to keep it from being boring. I wore it out last night and felt really confident in it.  Definitely a keep. 

Sweet Rain Fey Textured Knit Crew Neck Sweatshirt ($44)

I wasn't so sure about this as the "fancy sweatshirt" trend confuses me....except it was so comfortable on! It looks nice too, I think. Probably a keep...(I already hung it up so there's that....)

Loveappella Kaci Geo Print Swing Skirt ($58)

This was the one item I was not so sure about.  In all honesty, I'm still not quite sure about it. It's essentially free if I keep everything else though....so I think I'm keeping it. Do you hate it? Do you love it? It got good feedback from my friends...but not my mom. I'm not sure I love it with either shirt pictured...but maybe with some playing I can get the right look.   (Probably keeping but not sure I'm loving...)

Bay to Baubles Violet Arrow Cut Out Bangle ($28)

I think the price on this is a little bit high....but I do think it's really cute. Simple. I love the closure (which is not pictured here...) Will probably keep it...but what do you think? I hate spending a lot on jewelry....but it really can complete an outfit! 

So this was fix #4 and probably my favorite one so far.  It also came at the perfect time - just as the fall weather was kicking in here in Chicago. While I hated for it to be cold, I am excited to have fun new fall clothes to wear. 

If you decide to do Stitch Fix, I'd appreciate you going thru this link.  I get a $25 referral fee so I can keep on building a cute, big city wardrobe! 


30 Days of WHA?!?!

Well it's almost here. The end of my 30 day challenge to myself. To fill you in, I was completing what is known as the Whole 30. Basically I spent the last 30 (well, 28 so far) days avoiding grains, legumes, dairy, sugar and alcohol. What in the world did I eat? A lot of nutritious, delicious, non-modified, non-preserved food. Think meat, seafood, eggs, vegetables galore, fruit. It's pretty similar to the diet I followed in previous nutrition challenges.  The thing I liked most about these 30 days and what made it easiest to maintain was that I wasn't focused on dropping body fat. I just wanted to see how 30 days of clean eating would make me feel. Which means I was able to eat fruit (in moderation....meaning I had 1-2 servings a day most days out of the week) and starches like sweet potato!!

I should have blogged throughout the month but here's what I remember:

Days 1-7: Easy! I made a delicious mocha crusted steak the first weekend. I prepped food for the week. I felt good. I woke up fairly easily. I was starting to sleep more soundly. My workouts were terrible but that is typical.

Days 8-15: WHERE IS MY CHEAT MEAL!?!? I turned into a monster. I might have kicked a puppy or two. Any time I've done a nutrition challenge in the past I've always allowed myself at least a cheat meal per week and my body was looking forward to it. It got quite upset when I didn't reward it for a week of hard work. My tummy was revolting. I was constantly tired. And I just wanted to eat a cupcake. Instead I laid in my bed as much as I could. I stayed away from the gym (which only made any workout I did make it to that much harder). I did not want to eat anything that I was able to eat. I probably skipped a meal or two during this time frame because I just couldn't make myself eat something that wasn't fried. Eventually I ordered a burger (no bun, no cheese) with bacon, an egg and avocado and sweet potato fries from the bar next door. I thought sweet potato fries were ok because it's a sweet potato but it turns out fried form of any vegetable is out. So I guess technically it was a cheat. But I didn't know that until later. So I'm not counting it.

Days 16-23: Still being a monster. But I'm blaming that equally between diet, a gnat infestation, the supermoon and my period. Bad combo. But I was sleeping better and definitely having more energy.  I had a cup of tea (no sugar, no dairy) each morning but I typically felt like I didn't need it. I started getting comments from people that I looked a lot thinner and that I lost a ton of weight. (One of the rules on the Whole30 is that you aren't supposed to weigh yourself during it or take measurements....curious how much I did actually drop. I'm guessing about 5 pounds.) Overall I felt much better...minus the interacting with people.

Days 23-28: I ran a mile...fast. Fast for me. While I was doing it, I wanted to stop. But I reminded myself that the food I was eating fueled me to be able to do it. And I kept going. And it sucked. But I didn't die. My energy is good. I get tired between 9-10pm and I've actually been waking up without an alarm around 6am. Let's not get any crazy ideas...I make myself go back to sleep until my alarm goes off. But I think about getting up. My skin is smooth. My stomach stopped acting a fool. Today, at work, the doctor brought in caramel-sugar donut holes. They looked pretty darn good. But I wasn't even sad I wasn't partaking in them. I felt good with my breakfast of ground pork, mushrooms, dried cranberries, apples and almonds. It sounds like an odd breakfast (or maybe just an odd combo) but it was really really good. Just enough sweetness to make me not crave the donuts but lots of protein and healthy fat.

I have 2 more days and I feel confident I'll get thru them with ease. I've gone out in a few social situations and not drinking was pretty easy. If I were to do it again, I would make smaller portions of food so I didn't have to eat as many leftovers. I made an asian chicken that tasted good...the first 3 meals. I think I got 6 out of the recipe that I cut down.  By the end of it, I was pretty sure the chicken was my nemesis and trying to kill me.

I would recommend that everyone try this. It's 30 days. What's the worst that can happen? You find out that your body doesn't actually like gluten/dairy/legumes/sugar/alcohol? (Eesh! That would make me sad....I think that's not supposed to be the case but it's the truth) You find out that cutting those things out make you feel better? For me it was a huge test in willpower but I'm really happy I stuck with it. I'm a little worried about reintroducing the foods back in...but mostly because I really will be sad if anything makes me feel bad.

I'll try to remember to report back in a couple days with the end results.  And how I felt afterwards.


Twist Me Pretty

I"ve been on a braiding kick lately. I'm not particularly great at braiding but practice makes perfect right? I can manage a french braid. I can clumsily get thru a (I think) Dutch braid - think inverted french braid. Braiding under is WEIRD! But the waterfall? The fishtail? Anything else??? So confusing looking! But so pretty!
I came across this website and she's great at simplifying things. I used her instructions to waterfall braid tonight - it was actually pretty easy. Tomorrow I'll tackle the fishtail. And I'm thinking I might give this a try tomorrow night: